After Moderna, Pfizer too says no to Punjab on vaccine supply, state urges Centre to intervene

By Express News Service
CHANDIGARH:  After Moderna, another Covid vaccine manufacturer Pfizer has refused to send direct vaccination to Punjab, citing its policy to only deal with the Central government, state nodal officer (vaccination) Vikas Garg said on Monday.

Following this development, the state government wrote a letter to the Centre urging the latter to intervene and ask these companies to supply the vaccines to the state government. 

“Today we have written to Manohar Agnani, Additional Secretary in the Union Health Ministry, who deals with vaccination, to deal with these companies on our behalf so that these vaccine manufacturers can supply us the vaccines at the earliest,” he said.

Garg said the company, in a communication to the state, said: “Pfizer is working with federal governments across the world to supply its Covid vaccine for use in national immunisation programmes.

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“Our supply agreements at this time are with national governments and supra-national organisations with allocation of doses and implementation within the country being a decision that governments take based on relevant health authority guidance. This approach Pfizer has followed across the world,” the pharma major said.

Garg said that all vaccine manufacturers were approached for direct purchase of various Covid vaccines. We had approached manufacturers of Sputnik V, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson as per the directions of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh to explore possibilities of floating a global tender for the procurement of vaccines from all possible sources to ensure early inoculation in the state. 

He said that now the State is still hoping for a positive reply from Sputnik V and Johnson and Johnson.

The state was forced to stop vaccination for Phase I and II categories in the last three days because of non-availability of the vaccine.

Punjab has so far received about 45.3 lakh vaccine doses from the Centre.